5 storylines leading up to spring ball

Click on the 2 best Owls (P.J. and Kyle) for 5 important storylines.

Click on the 2 best Owls (P.J. and Kyle) for 5 important spring football storylines.

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42 thoughts on “5 storylines leading up to spring ball

  1. nice article.., past success has always been correlated with how many pros we put on the field. how many sure shot pros did we put on the field last year? unscientific math tells me Temple will go to a bowl game if we put a minimum of four players on the field who will play on Sundays.., how many players on the 2014 team are sure shots to play on Sunday? I think Kyke Friend is the only one, so any expectations approaching a .500 season are probably inrealistic. sad but true? btw, I’m attending the Conwell Society Happy Hour this month in DC for anyone out there

    • I would like to attend, but I have a late meeting that night. Bummer.

    • I think P.J. and Tyler are also sure shots. We need a sure-shot safety and a sure-shot pass-rusher and I don’t think we have the sure-shot pass-rusher yet (Dogbe might be a year away). What I’d really like to see is the two JUCO safeties making plays all over the field in the spring game. That would be comforting because I didn’t see any of our safeties making plays in last year’s spring game and that carried over into the season as well.

  2. Until the owls get a competent coaching staff starting with their DC it’s not going to matter whose on the team. Rhule is weak but Snow is brutal!

    • True. Snow is employed only because he’s Matt’s friend. Sad state of Temple affairs. Where else would he go? I’d be willing to bet if he was fired by Temple not a single other of the 124 remaining FBS teams would hire him as a DC. Maybe a FCS team in Michigan, that’s about it.

  3. I wonder who will replace Allen Mogridge? He did a nice job with the OL. Is there someone who can step up? There are some talented, bright young coaches and graduate assistants who can fill in, but an experienced guy would be nice.

    • Geez, they are talking about Evan Cooper. That’s three GAs (Fran Brown, ADM and Evan) promoted to full time in less than a year. We have a lot of recruiters on our staff but do we have the REQUISITE number of guys with position coaching experience? I’ve got an idea. Dick Beck, the North Penn head coach, would be a helluva offensive line coach. Anyone who was coached by Mike Pettine knows how to coach.

      • Mike,
        I expressed the same sentiment on the other board. Sooner or later assistant coaches need to coach. I don’t get some people’s attitude that all you need is great recruiters on staff and somehow they “relate” to the players which makes them play well. I mean if the players don’t need coaching to improve technique, learn schemes, etc. why even have a staff

  4. wow, did not hear the OL coach had left…,great head coaches have great assistants…, Rhumb has zero….,probably best he try and capture up and coming HS, JC or Div II coaches because no BCS asst coaches want to be on his staff…., you heard it first right here – after another dismal record, piss poor attendance, and bottom 50 recruiting class, 2014 is Rhule’s last season.., unfortunately it is one season past gone, he should have been fired after the 2013 season

    • KJ, you mustn’t read the posts on the other blogs, Rhule is building for 2015 when after a say 3-9 or 4-8 season Temple suddenly knocks off Notre Dame and PSU at the Linc.
      Ok, all delusions aside, I think you’re assessment has as good a chance of becoming reality as not. My biggest question is based on last year and his coaching history why there is a group that has this totally unrealistic image of Rhule. I look at the last 2 games of the season as a microcosm of the 2014 season. I’d say at best Rule has a 50-50 chance of being a winning coach at Temple. I just don;t buy into this belief that you can win with a staff of good recruiters who can;t coach. If that is the case then most of the current class of recruits should start right away and know exactly what to do without any coaching at all. Of course what we’ll here if 2014 is a losing season is some or all of the following:
      1. Rhule had 3 new staff members from last year
      2. This is only his second recruiting class, he needs to build a team with his players. Ok, this one seems to forget that he had at least some involvement with all but one class in the past 5 years
      3 This is a young team. Ok, given that if this excuse is brought out it will be the 3rd year in a row, which to me is a huge problem

  5. I don’t see where the “belief system” in Rhule comes from. OK, he’s a nice guy. I get it. But did anyone see any “great coaching” being done in 2013? Our main failures are on the field during the game and in the press box with the calls and the HC with the calls. For me to believe in Rhule, I would have liked to have seen commitment to the run against 247-pound DL Fordham and against 125th-ranked rushing defense Idaho. I’m talking about a Daz-like commitment (where he threw only 5 passes in a 63-32 win at Army). I would have also liked to have seen a QB sneak on 4th and 3 inches at RU, going to the hot hand (Zaire Williams) with a 28-7 lead at SMU, killing some clock with a 21-0 lead against UConn, etc. etc., etc. I’m sure that the “Heaven’s Gate” cult leader was probably seen as a nice guy by the 200 followers he convinced to commit suicide with him on the way to Halley’s Comet and I think a lot of the Rhule Stepford Cult Apologists are exhibiting the same kind of believe system. Trust, but verify. I got no verification in 2013. Not going on that ride to Halley’s Comet. What we need are great coaches and we have a bunch of GAs assisting a career assistant.

  6. TU doesn’t have the time or the finances to wait for Coach Rhule to “get it.” If they don’t go .500 this season, the Owls are doomed. And right now, without improvement by the coaching staff, this team could go 1-11. The conference schedule is tough and three of the four non-conference games are against very good teams, not that the quality of the out of conference teams mattered this past year with the losses to Fordham and Idaho.

    • John, I have the same feeling about this team if they are not a .500 team next season. Not only are you wasting a talent like PJ Walker but I think you will have a team full of players who will be accustomed to losing. I’m not saying they don’t want to win or aren’t giving 100% it’s just that after awhile it gets tough to break out of the losing pattern. As I said previously, I don’t understand this “building to 2015” mindset. So a team is going to come off of 3 losing seasons and suddenly beat ND and PSU, as some bloggers are putting out there???

    • I hope you guys are wrong and Rhule turns in a stellor performance this year and wins 7 or 8 games including a bowl game. I really want Temple to be successful. My fear and expectation is that it won’t happen. I think the problem with posters on the other boards is that they let their hopes cloud their analysis.

      • I think most on this site feel the same way. I don’t want Matt Rhule to fail either and want to see a return to winning. I just haven’t seen anything from his performance so far to indicate he is no more than a crap shoot to be successful

  7. Young coaches do well at Temple, while the older guys floundered. Wayne Hardin was only 32 when he coached Navy and 43 when he lead Temple. Arians (31) and Golden (37) had success and moved up. I think Temple’s atmosphere is great for younger coaches eager for opportunity and challenges to succeed and move up. Older coaches don’t need or want what Temple offers: hard work. As John Debella once said when Temple played BYU, “Get em Young!”

    • He was talking about Steve Young. 🙂 In the coaching world, guys like Mario Cristobal and Pete Lembo and Dave Clawson are young, too. WAY more accomplished than Rhule and that’s the certainty this program needed going forward. Now we’re about to walk into a forest of land mines without metal detectors.

    • Dave, I think a big difference between the 3 coaches you mentioned and coach Rhule is there backgrounds prior to taking the Temple HC job. Hardin already a HC, Golden coordinator under Al Groh, an established, veteran HC, for I think 4 years at Virginia and Arians coming from an SEC program. Rhule’s Temple stint under AG was his longest D 1 job working under 2 HC who were in their first head jobs

  8. the Athletic Dept just sent the 2014 schedule via email.., looks like a 3 – 9 year.., good news all 3 projected wins are Home games

    • What’s even more depressing is that I don’t think the uni has the gonads to fire this guy after 3-9 and there will STILL be Rhule Apologists who preach “baby steps, patience. At least we won one more game than 2013. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Next year, we win four.”

      • Mike, it’s amazing how spot on you are in your assessment of the Rhule Apologist’s, here is a quote from a hard core RA
        on one of the other boards in a thread about the upcoming season:

        “I would not view 5-7 this year a failure. Going from two wins to five wins is a decent improvement. I don’t have a numerical number I want this team to have yet because honestly we don’t know how big of an effect these freshmen will be having. ”

        So the mind set is starting already, a 2 win team that should have been a 5 win team last year (Fordham, Idaho and UConn) will now suddenly be showing improvement by not really showing any at all.

  9. totally concur, odds are pretty slim we can’t beat a top of the pack SEC like Vandy on their home field.., next up Navy at home could be a good game…, outside of Delaware State, Memphis and UConn the remainder of the schedule is a ‘hard’ at best…., remember Temple lost to Utah St last year…., can’t see us beating bowl eligible teams week after week…, my guess is Vandy, Navy, UCF, East Carolina, Tulane, Cincy, Houston, Tulsa and PSU will all play in Bowl games unless PSU is still on probation. Nine bowl teams in one year is probably the most formidable schedule Temple has ever played and we have to do it with our worse coach in 10 years and certainly the worst coaching staff in over 20 years…, OMG

    • I actually disagree regarding Tulane and Tulsa. Granted Tulane was in a bowl game last year but they’ve lost several key offensive and defensive play makers. Also, I think a lot of what has been put forth regarding Temple the past 2 seasons holds for Tulane about taking a big step up in competition. Or does tougher competition only hamper Matt Rhule coached teams. I look at the schedule and barring major injuries, should be able to beat Delaware St, Uconn, Memphis, Tulsa ( who were bad in a weaker conference) and Tulane with a decent shot at SMU (Gilbert is gone) and Navy who runs an offense that even a Phil Snow defense can stop. At the absolute minimum anything less than 5 wins and I don’t want to hear about the cupboard being bare and Rhule needs at least 3 recruiting classes, we’re building for 2015, as long as the team shows improvement, blah, blah, blah. A 2 / 3 win season next year and your looking at that kind of performance or worse in 2015 and 2016. At that point I think even a 20k seat on campus stadium will look empty on game days.

    • *Idaho (wish it was Utah State, a team with SOME credibility)… Navy’s coaching staff is only 100x better than ours (although we do have better players). Coaching will probably make the difference in that game, not players.

      • Mike, your comment about our players being better than Navy’s makes me feel a whole lot better about that game because as the Rhule Cult incessantly posts on other boards that quote from Jimmy Johnson, “its not the Xs and the Os but the Jimmys and the Joes” Navy’s better coaching staff shouldn’t matter.

    • I’m also going to say this should be our best chance to best PSU. 3rd HC in 4 years, 3rd DC in 3 years, takes at least a season for the team to learn the new systems, etc. Or are those things only excuses for Matt Rhule coached teams and for not making changes with say a DC who was beyond his prime when coaching at the U of Washington

  10. Yes, in my “belief system” comment above, I had a laundry list of complaints about Rhule’s coaching in 2013 and I did not even put any defensive concerns in there. Trust me, the laundry on the defensive side of the ball is even more soiled. Won’t even begin to list the woes there, but it stems from the “head coach of the defense” (to borrow a Daz term).

    • They need to win one of the first two. If they can I think they can get to 6 or 7 wins. 0-2 could lead to another disaster. How much of an underdog will we be against Vandy? Just booked my ticket to Nashville for the game.

  11. We will be at least a 10-14 point underdog at Vandy. This is an upper-tier SEC team. We are, until proven otherwise, the worst- or second-worst team in the AAC. Those are the facts.

    • Upper Tier SEC? Only quality win they had last year was UGA and that’s because Gurley was the big difference in that team. They were ordinary without him.

      Vanderbilt is a decent SEC team.

  12. So all those close losses, some against bad teams but some against very good teams, last year don’t translate into possible improvement? of course that would include improvement on game-day coaching too. Impossible? I hope not. But playing the games is the only way to know. Temple has some darn good players. I was at Vandy the last time the Owls played them. The sports writers in the Nashville papers were actually laughing at how easy a game it would be for Vandy – for VANDY! – not a top level team at the time. And it was. But Temple put up a couple TDs, the first for Temple that year. So it was an improvement. Let’s hope the Owls can put up a competitive game this time around. With some decent coaching calls maybe a win. Hope springs eternal. Having lived in Nashville for 18 years, I’m thinking about going to the game, see some old friends, etc. We’ll see. Go Owls.

  13. Hey it’s off topic but have to bring up the fact that the NCAA screwed the AAC. Despite being in the top twenty-five SMU was left out, Louisville got a four seed, and three of the four AAC teams selected were placed in the same bracket. What a crock especially given the Atlantic 10 teams selected and their seedings. Hope UConn goes on a run and beats the Main Line frauds. Happy now Villanova for your vendetta against the Owls? Your conference sucks and will not get any better.

  14. SMU should have gotten in but hopefully Larry Brown will play a tougher non-conference schedule. I have Louisville handing Wichita State its first loss in my pool. Louisville should have been a 1 or a 2, not a 4.

  15. looked hard at the results from last year, was at 5 home games and watched most of the away games…, unless I’m missing something the team last year should have won eight games and gone to a bowl. we had eight win talent but got out coached in the second half of six games we should have won? and to make matters worse, the coaching staff last year is arguably better and more experienced than the one this year…, just keeping it real…, the game against Vandy may just be off the board vs the spread…, positives for this years Jimmy’s and Joes: QB, O-Line, experience at RB, and the DBs can’t be any worse. negatives: DL, WR, special teams.

    handicaps: coaches, fan apathy, and the toughest schedule in the last ten years.

    outlook: don’t think one magazine, newspaper, or TV station will pick us to win more than 4 games which is probably a very accurate realistic assessment.

  16. Unfortunately, I agree. Can’t get these bad coaching decisions out of my head because the head that makes the decisions will be making them in 2014. Does that mean I think we will win 4? No. It’s a wide berth. anywhere from 3 to 7 depending on what lessons the coaching staff learned. Unfortunately, the poor Temple players and fans were the Guinea Pigs of that learning curve in 2013. Temple should NEVER be the kind of place where an all-new staff learns on the job. That honor should be reserved for places like Kutztown and Rowan. I will say this: If Temple EVER calls another five-yard deep handoff on fourth and three inches again, the man who calls it is certifiably insane–given you have the strongest center in the AAC and the most athletic quarterback behind him.

  17. KJ, have to say I agree with most of what you say. The one place where I have slight disagreement is the schedule being the toughest in the last 10 years. I do think that sentiment though shows how bad of a job this coaching staff is doing. I look at the 2014 schedule versus 2013 and consider it marginally tougher. First the OOC portion, definitely stronger with only Delaware State over Fordham being what should be an easier game. Looking at the AAC schedule though, I think ECU, Tulsa, Tulane over SMU, Rutgers, Louisville is overall a weaker schedule, with the rest of the schedule pretty much the same as last year. Tulsa was a bad team last year and they go into 2014 losing their starting QB, 1000 yd rusher, top WR and 2 of their top D lineman. Tulane, though being a bowl team last year the case can be made that they will be very similar to Temple coming back into the BE. Tulane played a very weak schedule last year, even for CUSA and they are losing several offensive weapons and one of their top defensive play makers from last year.

    All in all a 4 win Temple season next year, even though it would be 2 more wins over 2013, would just be another huge step back for this program in a fall to irrelevance.

  18. It will take only two games to see whether the coaches have gotten better. If the dbacks are as confused at Vanderbilt as they were almost all of last season, the coaching has not gotten better. Navy is a good test to see whether the coaching staff uses TU’s size to beat them as they did against Army or whether it decides to throw like they did against Idaho, UConn, and SMU even though running the ball not only would have succeeded but kept the ball out of the opponents’ hands. Why Rhule and Sattefield didn’t just run the ball against UConn after going up by 21 like they did against Rutgers is just another mystery from last season that will never be answered.

  19. Temple may beat Navy, which is rebuilding. Their linebacker corp graduated, and USNA doesn’t pass much. Hopefully Coach Rhule will plan for this one.

  20. Just sad

    4 wins being a possibility.

  21. good news is all 4 wins should be home games 😉

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